Comments

  • Air "Purifiers" and Radon
    John you hit the nail squarely on the head. Basic safety is to 1/ remove contaminate at source 2/ remove it along the pathway 3/ use personal protective equipment to protect the worker.
    I don't understand why when number 1 is usually the cheapest path even in commercial buildings long term that people go looking at alternative more expensive less reliable options.
    Our workplace safety people here in Ontario have consistently said that they want a people proof solution. i.e. it cannot be solved using outdoor air in HVAC system, unless it is with fixed dilution not a variable dilution because in the next year when building operation costs go up someone will change the program to save money. Now i can see in a military base where there is chain of command and penalties for disobeying direct written orders and a sub slab is very expensive and filtering or bringing in outside air is cheap yes go for it but in a building like a school or office where competition for scarce dollars is high it is not a good solution.
    It is not rocket science people! it is just nuclear science and building science put together.
  • Air "Purifiers" and Radon
    I would think that air movement would be more likely to cause plate out on walls and floors, especially if floors were carpeted ( more surface area on carpet fibers than wood or tile floor). back to subject that started all this....... i think the marketing material of filtration system is deceptive and untrue. but anyone who is manufacturing out of country and selling into North American market is unlikely to care.
  • Air "Purifiers" and Radon
    it would become very difficult to dispose of as well
  • Air "Purifiers" and Radon
    The other side of a carbon based capture system is that it will build up with lead 210 and all the other short lived radon daughters (progeny for all you proper people) giving off gamma every time there was a radioactive decay the vessel holding the carbon may become a larger heath risk, from gamma exposure, than the radon health risk from alpha energies.
  • Air "Purifiers" and Radon
    Kevin I think i agree with what your previous post has said. Let me try to say this in a less precise way.
    Hepa filters do not (in my opinion) reduce radon in the air i believe that the radon atom is to small to be trapped by the filter media. What it does do is catch the airborne particles that radon daughters would attach to thereby raising the unattached fraction in the air of radon daughters leading to higher health risk ( more unattached fraction to be breathed in that could attach to airway or lung)
    i cannot point to a research paper that can prove this hypothesis, but if not it would make for a great thesis topic.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Doug and All: I agree completely that public expectations of cost must be continually updated, it must be very frustrating to hear on a repeated basis.......... but I read on the internet that SSD systems cost only $ 800.00.
    About the side wall discharges and fans indoors that we do in Canada. I would agree that this is a model that cold climates may want to look at in code and can be easily codified by using ASHRAE climate zones such as this map https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iaqsource.com%2Farticle.php%2Fashrae-climate-zone-map%2F%3Fid%3D194&psig=AOvVaw2oZX55PjIFZmiKiuoYFPKS&ust=1614436802821000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCLCl9_Tjh-8CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD
    As we in Canada have been installing sidewall discharges with tradesman doing the work and they work well with little or no re-entrainment, and we use significantly less distances to building openings (12" min and 36" recommended) than you do in the USA.

    I did my first field install yesterday in 1 1/2 years when we had a mitigator go out sick at last minute ........... my helper had been on 8 previous mitigations and he has completed the measurement training but not the mitigation training. It was obvious that he had not grasped the concepts of communication testing and what the numbers meant for fan sizing. It is not a concept that is easily teachable to many individuals but, it is critical to ensuring that the fan is rightsized for the building. Rightsizing the fans means that building air is not being stolen by SSD system that will cost the building owners 1000's of dollars over the next 5 -10 years.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Doug I agree with you. Reasonable Profit is not a dirty word. In Canada our pipe from the wholesaler is about 60-70$ per 12 foot length. but all of our fans ECT comes up from states and while there is a cost to crossing the border with materials with good management of this you can keep costs down. Our typical systems go for about 2160.00 US plus taxes or 3000.00 CAN. At that price point you are reinvesting most of profits in company to cover depreciation of capital assets and marketing to bring in new revenue streams. We routinely travel up to 5hrs drive (one way) to service new and repeat customers. To get down to the 1500.00 US I would be out of business. Maybe that is why 50% of US mitigators are in business for less than 2 years. The low price may be why mitigators are driven to install SDR 35 above grade inside the building, not do communication testing to properly size the fan, and alarm calls are a significant hassle.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    great solution if it works looks clean and tidy you should look at the self regulating heating cable to provide a small pathway that would never freeze, it is a flat cable that hides well under insulation or could be drilled into exhaust pipe slid up pipe to top
  • Boulder County Short Term Dwelling Rentals and Vacation Rentals Radon Testing Requirement
    Congratulations on getting this through it may be a step to getting a landlord requirement to test all rentals
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Ok so as i understand the issue "standard does require insulation" within the building where could be exposed to freezing (ie the attic).
    "Standard does require Alarms"
    Alarms go off when pipe freezes customers call and complain when alarms go off
    Alarms are that truly work are expensive. But they are expensive for all installers.
    So the solution that best protects consumers is????
    I do not believe that a complaint about the standard to the standard board is going to be successful.
    one of my competitors slips 6" insulated duct around his pipes in attic it looks terrible but he says fast and cheaper and because no joints no possibility of sweating in summer, creating mold issues if you think a few calls about freezing are painful try being the cause of mold in an attic.
  • Slate tile and antique radios as a radon source?
    Running away from water issue we have had two tough houses starting at over 10,000 Bq/m3 or 270 pCi/l that refused to come down to below 100 because of compacted damp sand under slab we had 11 draw points on the system in one of the houses. To get the last i had to tap the block walls in 5 places (already had drop points right there ) we only discovered this when we drilled the block wall it blew the grab sampler at above 39,000 Bq/m3. We did connect restrictor plates inside piping to control amount of air drawn from block wall.
  • Slate tile and antique radios as a radon source?
    400 pCi/l is still can be a significant source depending what is going on with water usage i would look very hard at a 7 day electronic test and see if you are seeing hourly variance around water usage it typically takes a few hrs to show results after water usage on the device.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Let me start with I am very envious of the fact you have State Law that controls radon mitigators and what they do. I am tired of losing work to supposed mitigators who do not follow the rules, do not know what they are doing, are uncertified handyman, with no knowledge of building code, building envelope science, radiation protection (for their workers). They are taking money out of the pockets of my trained and certified employees and not serving our clients well (I get them as clients when radon mitigation doesn't work out)

    So my questions to the group is do the current radon alarms Alarm when the radon system fails because it is cold outside, and let the homeowner know that they are being exposed to high levels of radon? From the comments i am hearing the answer is yes. So they are doing what they are supposed to! How do you change your business model to meet this new reality? Is this an opportunity profit more? Or is this a cost you must absorb driving profits down?

    I am not sure from this discussion if you are more concerned about radon alarms or changing your business model to accommodate enforcement of the new rules.

    Does the Ansi AARST document require insulation when piping is subject to freezing? Is this expensive and a tough upsell? My answer is maybe but i don't know your market. My market is concerned homeowners most are two income professionals who care about price tag but...... if we are doing a garage exhaust we highly recommend EPDM insulation and a self activating heat cable (if you scroll back i gave amazon link). If they do not buy it I don't send a radon tech out without them agreeing to pay for it.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Steven and all; I was not advocating for service agreement that did not pay me, i am advocating to offer a service that includes a annual certified test (alpha track) and a equipment check, Fan is warrantied by the manufacturer through us for five years, labour is only warrantied for 1 year. We provide the service for a fee. Home is continuously being tested pick up radon test drop off new one inspect the fan is running and at same utube setting. Mail off test device email them the results. Who are they going to recommend when their friend needs a radon mitigator? When they move across town who are they going to use? Alarm goes off they call if it is -20 for 4-10 days. My people know what to say................... if alarm goes off and its not -20 we send a service person out. if system is frozen we install epdm insulation in attic and above the roof and install self regulating heat trace on the piping. if we offered it as an upgrade and were turned down at time of install we charge for time and materials. if we did not offer it it is my companies fault and i have to eat the cost. i want to offer customer service in a way that keeps customers recommending me to friends neighbours even Aunt Millie who they do not even like. it is the cheapest form of marketing i can do.

    BTW the Mercedes dealership did none of the work under warranty as i have too many miles on my sprinter to qualify ( and boy do they know how to charge for their parts and labour) while they were very professional about it nothing lasts forever and it is a cost of doing business. They are not one and done business.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    I just took our Mercedes van in to be serviced. Why? Because the van automated system said it was time for a service check. Do you want a recurring business model or a one and done business model........
    With alarms going in........ you offer to change out alarm as it is past it's service life. (the dealership makes more in selling service than they do in selling cars), ask anyone who owns a dealership. I had dealership call me on my way home to ask if they could change the diesel filters as they were at the end of their service life. I don't want to tell you what it cost in Canadian dollars, what am going to do as a business that relies on that truck say no? Yes service is messy if you don't have people who do it, it messes up schedule and doesn't allow for scheduling your crews to do what is your primary business installing systems but if you had 2000 systems installed and you could sell a 200$ system check with upsell of replacing parts (alarms) and a ongoing yearly long term test to ensure radon system was functional how many places could be hit in a day? 5-10? that's another 1000-2000$/ day for a man and a truck or fill in work if you are not busy 5 days a week. Alarms protect people who would not know that the great system you installed had quit working.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Sorry i lapsed into plumbing jargon rather than polite society terminology. What i meant to say was: i would like to thank and support all of those people who volunteered their time to create these standard documents and they will only get better if those that use the document on a daily basis can step up and get involved in improving it. I would caution anyone who is considering volunteering that successful committee work is the art of compromise and reminding yourself continually that the standard is here to serve the general public not to serve the companies who use it every day.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Until you have lived and volunteered on a committee trying to write a standard, please don't bitch to loudly. I know their are parts of our Canadian CGSB standards that i really don't like and i think are nuts but that is part of the committee process. i reallly hated some parts that we the working groups spent hours on that got changed in the final draft to something that the working groups did not agree to......... but as a whole i think we created something that served Canadians better that what we had before. i would like to thank my working group chairs who stuck at stick handling it all through.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Andrew I as a mitigator disagree with your statement as someone that has sat on 2 working groups to get a standard developed for radon mitigation here in Canada. it becomes a delicate balance of what you want Vs what hill you are willing to die on. Sometimes things are traded at the table to get consensus. I do not know but does the standard include insulation of piping when exposed to freezing?

    What good is the system you installed last summer and tested low ie 2.5 pCi on a summer time short term test. You now have a client that believes in you recommends you to friends and family. Standards are written to protect the public not to protect contractors from client phone calls when systems fail that they paid good money for. if during winter months, the that same house is it is now getting up to 6.7 because the fan was not properly sized for winter stack effect, yes it is better than the 20 pCi that they had before. You now have a client that loses belief in you and will tell everyone they meet that you are not their radon mitigator of choice. Standards are written to protect the public not to protect contractors from phone calls when systems fail, that the clients paid good money for.

    I think your old astm code required insulation where piping is exposed to freezing and i would be very surprised if this is not in current document. If it is not maybe alarms were traded off in the committee for the removal of insulating piping when exposed to freezing.

    ...........Yes inside systems take more time and cost more and should be insulated in attic space ......... garage systems should be insulated and heat traced in cold areas........ and i believe outside systems should not be installed where winter temperatures can go below -20 for significant periods of time unless they are heat traced and insulated. All of these are upsells in my market and I clearly state that these outside systems are subject to freezing and void warranty on fan and that the SSD system could be down a significant amount of time during winter months. i very seldom end up installing a exterior system.

    We cannot get two a day when doing garage routed systems but get to charge significantly more.

    We still install fans for VOC systems on the exterior of buildings but take the appropriate precautions to prevent freezing.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    So i said i would post what we are using as a self regulating heating cable on our commercial VOC systems here it is from amazon.ca
    https://www.amazon.ca/regulating-Industrial-Drawings-Available-Temperature/dp/B07VW6HKN1/ref=sr_1_5?crid=8KQ1QTVJ007Q&dchild=1&keywords=self+regulating+heat+trace&qid=1608583282&sprefix=self+regulating%2Caps%2C226&sr=8-5
    We added a plug that would shut down power at above 50 degrees F.
    https://www.amazon.ca/Frost-King-099000-Self-Regulating-Thermostat/dp/B0182HW816/ref=sr_1_20?crid=8KQ1QTVJ007Q&dchild=1&keywords=self+regulating+heat+trace&qid=1608583282&sprefix=self+regulating%2Caps%2C226&sr=8-20????

    We just wrapped the flat cable up the pipe and covered with a black EPDM 1/2 inch thick insulation (it is waterproof) and covered it all with a white pvc pipe jacketing sealed the joints looks good and my client and engineer was happy.
  • Alarms are mandatory now on radon systems
    Health Canada has researched both of these on band joist depressurization, i have installed hundreds if not several thousand band joist discharges over last 10 years most with discharges in in 5000 Bq/m3 if not 10,000's of Bq/m3 and many where my grab sampler maxed out at the 37,000 Bq/m3. Because of cold and insulation and vapour barrier we may have different construction techniques, but have never had a post test that came back high due to re-entrainment.
    On my commercial VOC systems in colder area's we use EPDM black insulation and a self regulating strap heater on pipe. i will post description in another post. i have to go deliver my customer Santa baskets. Merry Christmas All